She said that the Department’s new employees who had once worked in the for-profit college sector had not reshaped the work of the team, and that the choice to focus the unit’s remaining members on student loan forgiveness “neither points to a curtailment of our school oversight efforts nor indicates a conscious effort to ignore “large-scale” investigations”.
The newspaper reported that Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosLiberal students, colleges should learn from Liberty University’s civility Trump’s confirmation chaos in perspective Education Dept to relax rules restricting faith-based institutions from getting federal aid MORE has hired a number of aides who previously worked at for-profit colleges that were under investigation, including DeVry Education Group and Bridgepoint Education. That year, for-profit colleges dominated the list.
The team was first created back in 2016 after investigators found evidence of widespread fraud at for-profit giant Corinthian Colleges.
DeVry was not the only company on the team’s radar; they were also investigating Bridgepoint Education and Career Education Corporation, companies that run for-profit colleges. Later, in the summer, DeVos appointed Julian Schmoke, a former dean at DeVry, as the team’s new supervisor. And former employees of these institutions, Robert S. Eitel, Diane Auer Jones and Carlos G. Muñiz, were hired by DeVos.
Elizabeth Hill, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, told The New York Times that the DeVos’ new aides did not influence the direction of the investigative team.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Agudath Israel of America, the Orthodox Jewish community and all who believe that every child, regardless of where they live or their family’s income, should have an equal opportunity to a quality education”, she added.
DeVry settled two lawsuits in 2016, one with the Federal Trade Commission for misleading students and one with the Education Department for fraudulent claims about graduation success rates.
During the Obama administration, a team was put in place to investigate alleged cases of abuse by for-profit colleges. For example, White House director of strategic communications, Mercedes Schlapp, consulted with Bridgepoint at Cove Strategies, the consulting firm she co-founded with her husband.